Imagine if you could hack into a person’s DNA and rewrite the code. Deleting genetic diseases and even changing various features such as height, eye color and more. While this might sound like science fiction, this is exactly what CRISPR technology is all about. One of the hottest trends in biotechnology today, CRISPR (which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) has the potential to change the world of medicine as we know it – and perhaps all of mankind.
Research into this new technology is taking shape and some major biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are making strides in the CRISPR field. Since they are part of the healthcare and pharma space, there is also a lot of money involved, and many of these companies are publicly traded and are attracting a lot of attention from investors around the world. Therefore, in addition to its medical promise, CRISPR has the potential to greatly impact the financial world.
On the frontline: The companies researching CRISPR
Gene editing has numerous potential applications and could eliminate many of the illnesses that exist in society today. Here are a few companies researching the field:
- Editas Medicine – This American company is currently in the process of preparing to clinically test CRISPR technology to treat a rare condition known as Leber’s congenital amaurosis, which is a genetic disease that causes blindness.
- Agilent Technologies – Formerly a division of HP, Agilent focuses on developing software and analytical instruments for laboratories around the world. The company is a premiere player in the CRISPR space, creating various diagnostic tools and partnering with companies conducting research into gene editing.
- Sangamo Therapeutics – With more than 20 years of experience in gene therapy, Sangamo is working on many different treatments for various illnesses. For example, the company is researching gene therapy that could potentially render people immune to the HIV virus.
- Merck – The world’s third-largest producer of medicine, Merck is also deeply vested in the CRISPR field. The company has developed various tools for gene editing, such as “DNA scissors,” which enable removing and replacing DNA segments.
- Cellectis – This French company is utilizing gene-editing technology for developing cancer treatments. Cellectis’ technology uses CRISPR to modify T cells from healthy donors so that they will not be rejected by a recipient’s body. These antibody cells are then introduced into the patient’s body, and begin attacking and destroying leukemia cells.
The future of medicine
Considering that CRISPR is a fairly new field in biotechnology, there’s no limit to where this technology can go and how it could be used. It is already a major part of the “conversation” in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, and is also attracting a lot of attention from investors who believe in the potential of this revolutionary technology.
With so much potential for growth, thematic investment in CRISPR technology is something many investors are now considering. Therefore, here at eToro, we’ve put together a ready-made investment portfolio of companies that are relevant to the field, which we will launch soon. The CRISPR CopyFund contains a balanced portfolio of both veteran companies and innovative newcomers, all of whom are leading the CRISPR revolution. The CopyFund is occasionally rebalanced by eToro’s Investment Committee to include only the most promising stocks. Until it is officially launched, you can track the CopyFund by adding it to your watchlist.
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